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January 16th, 2007 at 02:16 am

Another cross post:

My baby is 15 months old now, so here's where our money went for the big purchases (in San Diego). I'm in a position to buy new when I want it, but I also like getting a good deal at a garage sale or resale shops. Not everything on my list below is essential, so you can cut back where you see fit.

Even if you breastfeed, be sure and ask for free formula samples at every doctor's visit. I ran into issues with my milk supply at around 4 months, and because I had stocked up on the free formula during the early visits I saved quite a bit of money. If you don't use them you can always donate them later. Also, use up your formula coupons before they expire! I got caught out with quite a few of those.

I made some of my own baby food, but found that even using frozen veggies I wasn't saving enough to make it worth the effort. I calculated that it was about a 20% savings -- but 20% of $30 is only $6.

I use the most expensive brand of diapers (Pampers) because I like them the best. Target and Costco brands are about half the price. I've heard that cloth diapers can be quite expensive initially (you need multiple sizes as they grow), so do research and the math before making a decision. Of couse you save a bunch when you use them for a 2nd kid.

There's also a Carter's clothing outlet where I often find new clothes for $5-$7 (as opposed to $10-$20 new). You can get resale clothes for $1-$5, but some are very faded so you have to be willing to dig.

My equipment list (below) for the first year comes to $1540. I'm sure I've missed some things and the little extras add up so $2000 sounds quite reasonable. I might suggest budgeting closer to the $100/month for diapers, formula, food, and extras. And check out the increase in insurance with your husband's employer, since everyone's rates are different.

Currently I seem to be spending about $75-$100 per month on things like toys, clothes, and misc purchase from Babies R Us. I'm spending about $50/month on diapers and $40/month on whole milk and baby food, so I'm closer to $150 - $200 per month for baby. I think our insurance is about $100 extra per month.

If I had to, I could probably cut back to $25/month on toys, clothes, and misc, $25 on diapers, and maybe $30 on milk and food, for a total of $80/month for baby.

0-3 months
combo stroller/car seat $75 new at Target
bassinet gift, but I've seen them for $40 resale
crib & mattress $200 garage sale (was $600 new!)
bouncy seat $20 resale
pack-n-play $25 garage sale
monitor $20 new
front carrier $60 new
breastfeeding pillow $40 new
bottles, nipples, etc about $30 new
diaper champ $25 new
2 changing table pads $25 new
diaper bag free from hospital
breastfeeding free
diapers can't remember, maybe $60/month?

3-6 months
swing -- gift, but I've seen them for $40 resale
exersaucer $40 resale
backpack $20 resale
playmat $15 ebay
breastpump rental for 2 months about $150
breastfeeding free
formula supplements free samples from doctor's office
diapers $50-60/month

6-9 months
jogging stroller $25 garage sale
high chair $120 new
convertible car seat $120 new
convertible car seat (2nd car) $120 new
better backpack $60 resale
baby proofing stuff about $40 new
3 gates, $60 each = $180 new
formula $20/month Target brand
baby food about $30/month
diapers $50/month

9-12 months
umbrella stroller $30 new
walker/ride-on toy $10 resale
outdoor baby swing $10 resale
formula $20/month Target brand
baby food about $30/month
diapers $50/month

12-15 months
2 gallons whole milk per week -- about $18/month
baby food about $20/month
diapers $50/month

One expense I forgot to mention when I did this post was clothes for mom! Not only do you need maternity clothes, but also clothes to wear as you are losing the baby weight. Losing weight is highly touted as a benefit of breastfeeding, but my experience was just the opposite -- my body would rather cut milk supply than let go of body fat, and after the first month I did not lose any weight until I stopped breasfeeding at 7 months. I'm still 10 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, and as a result have bought 3 pair of shorts, 3-4 pair of jeans and pants, 10 summer tops, 10 winter tops, and underwear in my current size. I'm working on those last 10 pounds again, but will reuse the clothes after the next pregnancy.

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